May 24, 2012
I don't know what it is about IHOPs, but there was always something about the chain that got people simultaneously very excited and very homesick. I can't begin to count the number of times in college someone decided very late at night or early in the morning that the thing to do immediately was to find someone with a car and then make that person drive clear to the other side of the city to go to the only IHOP (or was it still International House of Pancakes?) and have pancakes with that lingonberry syrup that came in those godawfully messes that were supposedly carafes of some sort. Okay, most of those times, the brilliant idea to go on an IHOP run was preceded by activities that resulted in what the kids call "the munchies." You know, like studying for the O-Chem final. Mom. So finally, after what I assume cost a pretty penny in market research, consultancy fees, sitdowns with ad execs, etc., etc., the suits at IHOP HQ figured out that what people wanted from their restaurant was breakfast at any time of the day or night. Not a new focus on dinner or lunch. Breakfast. Pancakes that came with little faces made of cherry eyes, whipped-cream hair and chocolate-chip smiles. Next time, IHOP, you can save yourself a ton of money and ask a bunch of college kids who've just spent the entire night smo -- er, studying. I bet they wouldn't charge you more than a Funny Face pancake.
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